Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Forgotten Eldar Autarch

The Venerable Autarch

These days all you see are Farseers and Eldrad and the odd Avatar, but I ask you, how often do you play against an opponent who fields an Autarch against you?

I sometimes imagine the Farseers all gathered in the canteen in their Craftworld eating salad and talking about glorious battles and boasting about slaying some deadly opponent by popping their heads. Just then a couple of Autarchs walk into the canteen and a sudden hush comes over the room. Why? Because the Farseers don't want the Autarchs to know about the fun they been having in all these battles just in case they want to come along to the next battle instead of another Farseer or Mr, Khaine Himself.

Ok without a doubt the Farseer is the best HQ in the codex currently but what has the Autarch got to offer?
Lets take a look at the stats:

For 70pts base you get:
  6    6   3 3  3 6 3 10  3+

They come stock with Shuriken Pistol, Plasma Grenades, Haywire Grenades, Forcefield (4+ inv).

Special Rules: Fleet, Independent Character, Master Stratagist (+1 to reserve rolls).

Ok so not bad on paper but how do we load him out?

 Movement Options:

Swooping Hawk Wiings:

You can equip your Autarch with Swooping Hawk wings. I suppose the only real reason that makes sense for doing such a thing is to attach your Autarch to a unit of Swooping Hawks and just stay off the board the whole game dropping templates and skyleaping away. Then in the last turn land in your opponents deployment zone claiming "Line Breaker" objective.

Warp Jump Generator:

Another way your Autarch can get around is by taking a warp jump generator , identical to the teleportation device that our Warp Spiders operate. This will allow your Autarch to jump 12" in the movement phase, then shoot and then jump away again. How would you use such an Autarch? Well obviously a unit of Warp Spiders would work well but I can't see it being worthwhile.

Eldar Jetbike:

This is by far the most popular and for good reason. Ok it costs a little bit more than the other two options but for the privilege you get a 12" movement that can turbo boost up to 36". You get +1 T and also twin linked Str 4 Assault 2 shots. It also gives you a  3+ armor save but the Autarch already comes with this. The best way to use this type of Autarch is to attach him to either a Seer Council or a unit of Shining Spears.

Weapon Options:

Fusion Gun:

Same thing as a Melta Gun with a phalic appearance and best of all it comes with the kit! Take if you want to blow up Vehicles but beware of its limited 12" range. Dont forget you need to be half range to get that juicey 2D6 armor penetration.

Reaper Launcher:

A 36" range missile launcher that fires two Str 5 missiles at AP3. Not only that but your Autarch can move normally and shoot this even though it's a heavy weapon due to him being on a jetbike. Bit pricey but well worth it in my opinion. You will have to convert this as it doesn't come with the current kit. Hopefully it does if the model is re-released with the new codex.

Laser Lance:

I really like the laser lance. You can shoot it from 6" away and when you charge with it you get all your attacks count as Str 6. It's only AP4 however but still Str 6 pretty sweet. I prefer this over a power sword but there are arguments for the power sword too so take what suits your taste.

Power Sword:

The famous power sword in all its glory. Oh wait it's wounding on Str 3! While the Laser Lance wounds easier, the power sword negates 3+ armor saves. Versus 2+ armor you are much better off with the Laser Lance since Str 6 will serve you better and is why I usually take one over a power sword.

General Uses:

Ok so the stats above are good, not amazing but just good. Lets not forget that he is still only T3 when on foot. Also if you come up against a reasonably decent melee HQ from another army be prepared to open that figure case and get his designated space in it prepped because he will be going in it very soon. He just doesnt have the wargear or special rules to allow him to compete with the best or the very good for that matter.

So why bring one at all? If you are using some flyers in your list he will allow them in on a 2+ which is always handy. I use a Nightwing myself so it is that more reliable with an Autarch on the scene. Add him to the right unit and that unit will tear through anything bar the very best units in the game.

So currently what's the best way to use him/her?

Ok firstly in my opinion the only way to really take an Autarch and make the most out of him is on a Jetbike. Then a nice Laser Lance to give him that 6x Str6 charge in attacks is alway good. Then I give him a Reaper Launcher for some good ranged hitting power as you are closing in with your target. All this comes to a pricey 155pts.

I run mine in a Seer Council unit and currently I think this is the best way to use him. He gives the entire unit grenades which is extremely important. Also he gives the unit even more hitting power and crucially he protects the farseer from challenges. In return he gains fortune from the farseer increasing his surviablility drastically. Also with a Warlock with Enhance his WS and initiative goes up to WS7 and I7. Together with the Seer Council they will kill nearly anything they come across but be wary of 2+ armor.

Another way to run the Jetbike Autarch is with Shining Spears. He gives the unit that bit more "umph" and gains skilled rider which in his case he has a 4+inv anyway but gains the other benfits of the special rule. At the moment the Shining Spears are just too pricey for what they do but if you are so inclined they will gain grenades, LD10, and you can protect the Autarch from challenges with your Exarch or vice versa.


Is he the best unit it in the codex? Certainly not. Is he the worst unit in the codex? Certainly not. Although he is overpriced and wont stand toe to toe to lets say a kitted out Chaos Lord, if you play him with a some cunning I feel he can do you justice.

Codex Rating: C

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